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Coleman the hero as Ireland gain valuable win

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Everton defender nets his first international goal

Republic of Ireland v Georgia - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Seamus Coleman scored his first goal for the Republic of Ireland in a narrow 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against Georgia.

Coleman, who captained the side, tapped home from close range early in the second half after one of his trademark lung-busting runs into the penalty area.

James McCarthy also played 90 minutes for the Irish in Dublin. The midfielder hadn’t featured for Everton since August due to a groin injury but had trained all week managed to get through the game unscathed.

Elsewhere in Group D Ashley Williams captained Wales to a valuable 2-2 draw against Austria in Vienna.

Joe Allen and a Kevin Wimmer own-goal twice put Wales ahead only for a Marko Arnautovic double to earn Austria a point.

Republic of Ireland v Georgia - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The results mean Wales stay top of Group D on goal difference but are level on points with Austria, Serbia and the Republic of Ireland.

Earlier on Wednesday Mason Holgate and Brendan Galloway both played 90 minutes for England U21s against Kazakhstan.

Demarai Gray scored the only goal on six minutes as England gained the victory they needed to secure their spot at next summer’s European U21 Championships.

On Tuesday Gerard Deulofeu played for Spain U21 in a comfortable 3-0 victory over San Marino in Serravalle.

Closer to home academy graduate Kieran Dowell played 90 minutes for England U20 in a 2-0 win over Netherlands at Oldham’s Boundary Park.

Deadline day signing Dominic Calvert-Lewin came off the bench late on while Jonjoe Kenny was an unused substitute.